Best Of The Fest

Oct 19, 2018
Originally published on November 2, 2018 1:17 pm

Is Coachella a little too mainstream? Tired of Burning Man? Fear not! In this game, contestants guess if obscure world festivals are real or fake.

Heard on Nick Kroll: The Story Of The Toothpaste Wedgie.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from the Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hi, everybody. Yeah. Hello. Awesome. This is great. So we have four brilliant contestants. They are backstage right now getting in the Halloween spirit, bobbing for Apple products. And they will be up here playing our nerdy games. And one of them will become our big winner. We have an amazing guest. Our guest is comedian Nick Kroll.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah. His animated series "Big Mouth" just started its second season on Netflix. It's all about his teenage years, which can be rough. Any time I think about my teenage years, I got to tell you, the smell comes back to me of this acne astringent, Sea Breeze.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Do you know what that is?

COULTON: I remember that it existed, but I'm not that familiar with it.

EISENBERG: I think it was made from Fresca and vermouth.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And it was super strong. It had tons of alcohol in it. Like, it was 180 proof. We all slathered our faces with it, hoping it would help. And the funny thing is I remember just going, I cannot wait until this part of my life is over. And then you find out later that you still get zits. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I still get zits, but now they're on my wrinkles. That's great.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's really nice. Thank you. Yeah. To have a pimple on a wrinkle - a prinkle. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Thank you, life. So now I just drink the Sea Breeze.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I had huge crushes. Did you - were the kind of teenager that just...

COULTON: I was pretty crushy.

EISENBERG: Who...

COULTON: I was looking for love everywhere. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah. Who was - do you remember the name of your first crush?

COULTON: Her name was Mickey (ph).

EISENBERG: Like, oh, Mickey, you're so fine (clapping).

COULTON: Oh, yeah. Sure - killed me.

EISENBERG: That's...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah, sorry.

COULTON: Murder.

EISENBERG: How'd it work out?

COULTON: One time, we were talking on the phone. And she said, I heard a rumor that you like me. Is that true? And I said, yes. And she said, oh, good. I like you, too. And then I got really nervous. And I was like, OK. Bye.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: And I ran out into the woods and, like, tried to cool my face off with leaves and grass and stuff because I was so embarrassed.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: And then I don't think we...

EISENBERG: With leaves and grass.

COULTON: I just sort of rolled around. I didn't know what to do. And then...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...And then I don't think we ever spoke again.

EISENBERG: That was it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Beginning, middle and end of a romance right there.

COULTON: I blew it right away.

EISENBERG: That is actually kind of symbolic of a lot of relationships right there, that exact trajectory. I like you. Guy has no idea what to do, then it ends.

COULTON: And then it ends.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's all over.

EISENBERG: "Big Mouth" has cool, animated characters in it. There are hormone monsters. There's a dancing tampon, which I love. You know what? I have to admit I have never tried that period underwear THINX probably because all of my underwear inadvertently becomes THINX.

(LAUGHTER, CHEERING)

COULTON: All the women are laughing. All the men are like...

EISENBERG: I know. They're all...

COULTON: ...What's that?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I just see profiles of guys' faces.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. I think I've done all material we can't use.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So should we start the show? OK. Great.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Our first game is called Best of the Fest. I have never been much of a festival person. For me, best of the fest is the moment I get to leave.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: First up, Jill Zarcone. You work in philanthropy for a hospital and read obituaries every day as part of your job.

JILL ZARCONE: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK. Great. So what makes a good obit?

ZARCONE: I think something poignant, something that will make me laugh so my day goes a little quicker.

EISENBERG: How long should they be? How many words?

ZARCONE: I think, you know, short and sweet is good, you know?

EISENBERG: OK.

ZARCONE: But I do enjoy the long, you know, poetic type. You know, I had three wives. I had three dogs. It was a good life, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So, Jill, when you ring in, we're going to hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: And your opponent is Emma Blecker. You work for a restaurant group. And you also get together every year with your family and play a card game named Murder.

EMMA BLECKER: Yes.

EISENBERG: Sounds dark and intriguing. What is Murder?

BLECKER: The game.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Well...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's start, like, with that. Yeah.

BLECKER: Yeah. It gets very dark. So we pull cards. And if you pull the murderer at some point in the day, you have to go up to someone with no one else looking and whisper, you're dead.

(LAUGHTER)

BLECKER: And what that means is that they then have to continue to do whatever they're doing at that time until someone discovers their body, which has ruined a whole day of, like, the one-week vacation that many people have.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So you just have to lie down wherever you are?

BLECKER: Well, no. So we've had to come up with rules over the years because there have been hazards. Like, you can't kill someone when they're in the ocean or when they're...

(LAUGHTER)

BLECKER: ...In direct sunlight or near fire.

(LAUGHTER)

BLECKER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: It sounds fantastic. Emma, when you ring in, we're going to hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: All right. Jill and Emma, whoever has more points after two games will go on to our final round. This is a trivia game called Best of the Fest. I'll describe a festival held somewhere in the world. You ring in and tell me if it's real or fake. But be careful because if you guess incorrectly, your opponent automatically gets the point. Here we go. Put some spring in your step and some infants in danger at the annual El Colacho baby jumping festival held every June in Spain. Men dressed as the devil jump over rows of babies to cleanse them of sin.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Real or fake?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Emma.

BLECKER: Real.

EISENBERG: It is real.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It's real.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I feel like you looked at me with a glint in your eye. You're like, this is my kind of festival.

BLECKER: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

BLECKER: My family members would participate in that.

EISENBERG: I think they would. Every Easter in France, a group called the Brotherhood of the Giant Omlet cracks more than 15,000 eggs to make one gigantic omelet for everyone to enjoy. Real or fake?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jill.

ZARCONE: Real.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it is real.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah, they use extra long baguettes to stir the mixture. So French.

COULTON: Sure they do. That's - it's France.

EISENBERG: I don't know where they - where do they cook it, on the sun? Where do they cook that?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Every winter in Sweden marks the ice pole-sitting contest in Vilhelmina. Competitors sit on top of an 8-foot high block of ice and must endure the freezing cold for more than two days straight to win a cash prize. Real or fake?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jill.

ZARCONE: Real.

COULTON: Yeah, that is absolutely real. You're right.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Break out your Oscars and leg warmers for Fonda Fest at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. It's not all Janes at this party. Henrys, Peters, even Bridgets are welcome. Dress up as your fave and then mingle with your fellow Fonda fanatics. Real or fake?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Emma.

BLECKER: Real.

EISENBERG: Oh, no. That one's fake.

BLECKER: No.

ZARCONE: No (laughter).

EISENBERG: It sounds so good, right?

BLECKER: I would go to that.

ZARCONE: I want to go.

EISENBERG: I know. Step aerobic classes...

ZARCONE: Yes.

EISENBERG: It would be super fun. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This is your last clue. Erie, Pa., is home to the annual Ball Pit Ball. At this black-tie event, a fancy hotel ballroom is filled with colorful plastic balls for adults to play in and take Instagram photos in. Real or fake?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Emma.

BLECKER: Real.

COULTON: (Laughter) I'm sorry. It's fake. It is fake.

BLECKER: It's not my game.

EISENBERG: It does sound like the best wedding...

ZARCONE: It does.

EISENBERG: ...Of all time, right?

ZARCONE: Yes, yes.

COULTON: The formal wear is the real clincher for me.

EISENBERG: Great game. Jill is in the lead.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.